Blackman’s Swamp Creek Park System

Blackman’s Swamp Creek2
The park system follows the course of Blackman’s Swamp Creek and provides a significant green belt through Orange

Location Matthews Park, Moulder Park, Endeavour Oval, Elephant Park, Pilcher Park and Ken Rawle Park (stretching from Lords Place to West of Woodward Street).

Statement of Significance

The series of interconnected parks forms a significant green belt and recreational space for the city. The parks are connected by Blackman’s Swamp Creek. The creek forms a continuous landscape element throughout the parks; sometimes naturally winding, in other places the creek has been channelled and its course straightened. The park system includes a range of sporting and recreational facilities as well as passive open space with paths meandering between both established and newer trees. The beautification of this park system was part of the vision of Norman Weekes, Orange’s town planner in the 1920s and 1930s.

Early in Orange’s history the creek flowed in an arc around the Southern part of the town and through the Eastern edges of the town, through what is today Robertson Park. Flooding and the swampy conditions surrounding Blackman’s Swamp Creek plagued the town’s early development. Eventually this was largely solved by channelling the creek under the city. This channelling was highly significant in allowing the further development of Orange and the start of the channels can be seen at the Northern end of Matthews Park.

Objects and Elements: Blackman’s Swamp Creek Park System

Matthews Park

Matthews ParkMiniature Rail Track

(between Anson Street and Lords Place)

A miniature rail track winds through the trees and grassed areas of Matthews Park. The rail track crosses the channelled Blackman’s Swamp Creek. The track was identified as significant through the community consultation process.

Matthews Park2Blackman’s Swamp Creek Channels

(between Anson Street and Lords Place)

At Matthews Park Blackman’s Swamp Creek is routed through an open channel that cuts diagonally through the park before being diverted under the city at the Northern end of the park.


Moulder Park

Netball CourtsNetball Courts

(between Anson Street and Sale Street)

Located at the Eastern end of Moulder Park are a number of hard-court netball courts.


Moulder ParkAvenue Plantings

(between Sale Street and Hill Street)

Formal avenue plantings edge the path through Moulder Park, echoing the avenue plantings seen throughout the Orange urban area.

Moulder Park2National Avenue Frontage

(between Sale Street and Clinton Street)

The streetscape between Moulder Park and the surrounding houses along National Avenue is characterised by a grand avenue of Plane trees. The mature street trees act to visually blur the distinction between parkland and streetscape.

Moulder Park3Olympic Pool

(between Hill Street and Clinton Street)

Moulder Park houses Orange’s Olympic Pool. The pool was built in 1957 and was at the time considered to be one of the best swimming facilities of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The tall diving tower provides a vertical landmark within the park and the surrounding area.

Pine Tree in roadPine Tree in Centre of Street

(Hill Street)

Located just over the Hill Street vehicular bridge through Moulder Park is a mature Pine tree located in the centre of the road adjacent to the pool. It is not known why the tree is located in this position, however it is showing signs of stress.

Lamrock AvenueLamrock Avenue and Clinton Street Corner

(between Clinton Street and Sampson Street)

This corner provides an outlook across Moulder Park to the swimming pool that is framed by contrasting foliage of exotic species. The open views into the parkland are in contrast with the fenced and hedged edges of Cook Park.

Blackmans SwampBlackman’s Swamp Creek

Blackman’s Swamp Creek is the main unifying landscape feature of this park system. At Moulder Park the creek meanders through the parkland and is crossed by pedestrian wooden bridges as well as vehicular bridges.

Elephant Park

Elephant Park(East of Woodward Street)

Elephant Park is so-named as circus elephants were kept at the park whenever the circus was in town.

Elephant ParkElephant Park

(East of Woodward Street)

Plantings A large area of Elephant Park is dedicated to a gridded tree planting pattern set on a wide grass area. When mature, the trees will form an impressive feature, with rows of thick trunks and dense overhead foliage in Summer and a bare architectural pattern in Winter.

Endeavour OvalEndeavour Oval

(East of Woodward Street)

Ken Rawle Park

Pilcher Park(West of Woodward Street)

This reserve features grassed areas that gently roll away from Blackman’s Swamp Creek. Intensive native plantings provide a transition point between the rural fringe and urban areas.

Ken Rawle ParkPilcher Park

(East of Woodward Street)

At Pilcher Park, Blackman’s Swamp Creek continues and the parkland opens out into grassy open space.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: